As a sales trainer, I teach that empathy is the key to overcoming fears and objections from customers. But empathy is also important in all areas of our lives, not just sales.
Empathy is different from sympathy. Sympathy means you agree with someone, but empathy means you understand where they’re coming from. When you show empathy, you’re saying, “I hear you and I understand you.”
Think about it, how many times have you been arguing with someone and it feels like you’re just going back and forth with counterpoints? Instead of trying to prove your point, try showing empathy first. Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.
Empathy is simple. It just means slowing down and really listening to the other person. Acknowledge their feelings and ask them to explain further. You don’t have to agree with them, but you should show that you understand where they’re coming from.
By showing empathy, you’re not only addressing their concern, but you’re also opening up the conversation to explore solutions.
So, I challenge you to increase your ability to show empathy. Slow down and really listen to your customers (or friends, family, and co-workers). When they express a concern or objection, acknowledge their feelings first, before attempting to sway them with your logic. By showing empathy, you’ll build trust with your customers and be more successful in your sales career.